Preserving Mexican Folklore Dance & Traditions in Rochester

Hispanic Heritage Month

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester resident, Karla Slack-Alcalá moved to the flower city from Mexico about seven years ago. Since then, she has been very active in the community and sharing her love of Mexican folk dance and many traditions. She says every opportunity she gets she hopes to share the “Soul of Mexico” wherever she goes.

She showed us each of the colorful Mexican folklore costumes and each one represents a state in Mexico. Each one tailored to it’s unique music and region.

“After the colonization from Spain, we mixed cultures, with Africans, Europeans and our pre-hispanic culture. So that mixture grew to a very different dance and sounds of the country,” said Slack-Alcalá. 

Slack-Alcalá studied dance growing up in Mexico city. She has taught, performed, and choreographed numerous dance programs in mexico and around latin america. Eventually, she married and left her beloved Mexico  seven years  and brought this electrifying tradition to Rochester. 

“I feel that energy comes from my feet to my head. That passion, I can show to everybody, with the biggest smile and it’s a powerful feeling. It’s difficult to describe. Being an artist and being in front of the people, showing my background, it’s an amazing experience,” said Slack-Alcalá. 

Slack-Alcalá continues to teach at community events and holds classes. She’s created a local group called ‘Alma de México; “Soul of Mexico.” Through it, she shares her passion and preservation of folkloric dance, hoping to inspire new generations. She even taught me a well known dance called ‘La Raspa.’

Slack-Alcalá said there is more to Mexico than what meets the eye. 

“Si la gente quiere aprender de lo que es la cultura mexicana. estaré a la mejor disposición de explicarles y transmitirles de la mejor manera posible para que ellos se interesen y traten de descubrir algo más acerca de esto,” said Slack-Alcalá. Which translates to, “if people want to learn about mexican culture, I would be willing to explain and to transcend the best possible way. That way they become interested and effort to discover something more on this topic.”

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